Thames walk

(17 Sep – 17 Oct 2023)

From 17 September until 17 October 2023, we will walk 350 kilometres from the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds to its mouth in the North Sea. During the walk, we will engage with local people, school children, farmers, fishermen, teachers, rowers, journalists, politicians, environmentalists and many more, and share our vision of a world with drinkable rivers. Every day we’ll monitor the water quality of the Thames with children and stay with locals who welcome us in their homes.

We look forward to meet you along the way!

Li An and Maarten

Join the walk

Everyone is invited to join the walk for a day (or two). You can just show up or give us a heads up and register. We will aim to start around 9:00 am at the starting points as indicated below. Please double check one day in advance whether we expect any changes.

During the walk, we will measure the water quality of the Thames as part of our ongoing citizen science research project. We welcome everyone to participate in measuring the water quality of the Thames with us. Especially teachers and children are heartily invited. Please reach out to us via

Rather than staying in B&B’s, we prefer to stay with local people along the river so we can engage more with the Thames community. We have done so earlier along the Meuse and the IJssel and this turned out to be wonderful. If you would like to welcome us in your home, please reach out to us via

Walk and Dates


17 – Source of the Thames, Kemble. Opening ceremony and picknick. Starts at 12:00.
18 – Church Lane, Ashton-Keynes to Castle Eaton Bridge
19 – Castle Eaton Bridge to Buscot Lock
20 – Buscot Lock to The Trout at Tadpole Bridge
21 – The Trout at Tadpole Bridge to Bablock Hythe
22 – Bablock Hythe to Osney Bridge, Oxford
23 – Events in Oxford (no walking)
24 – Osney Bridge, Oxford to Abingdon
25 – Rest day
26 – Bridge Street, Abingdon to Dorchester
27 – Days Lock, Dorchester to Goring & Streatley
28 – Goring & Streatley Bridge to Reading Bridge
29 – Reading Bridge, Reading to Henley-on-Thames
30 – Events in Henley-on-Thames (no walking)


01 – River& Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames to Cookham
02Rest day
03 – Ferry Lane Bridge, Cookham to Windsor
04 – Windsor & Eton Bridge to Laleham
05 – Ferry Lane, Laleham to Hampton Court Bridge
06 – Hampton Bridge Court to Kew Bridge
07 – Kew Bridge to Chelsea Bridge
08 – Chelsea Bridge to Greenwich Pier
09 – Events in London (no walking)
10Rest day
11 – Greenwich Pier to Thames Barrier
12 – Thames Barrier to Erith
13 – Erith Pier to Greenhithe
14 – The Pier Hotel, Greenhithe to Lower Higham
15 – Church Street, Higham to Allhallows
16 – Slough Fort, Allhallows to Isle of Grain (North Sea)
17 – Closing event (in London 4-7PM, no walking)


Opening Ceremony

Sep 17th 12 AM
Source of the Thames, Kemble


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Join the walk and Citizen Science measurements

Sep 21st 2 PM
Maybush pub, Newbridge


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Picnic & Citizen Science

Sep 22st
Wolvercote Community Orchard,


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Book launch and film screening

Sep 23rd 5:30 PM

Vaults & Garden,
Oxford High Street

Buy your ticket (£3)

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Citizen science, film + Q&A

Sep 24th, Abingdon

4 PM Citizen science at Abbey Meadow
6 PM Film screening + Q&A at Bridge House

Walk & Water Monitoring

Sep 27th 9:00 AM


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Film screening (18mins), dialogue
& water quality monitoring

Sep 30th afternoon

In front of River & Rowing Museum

Partners: Thames21 and River & Rowing Museum


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Local Stories

Oct 3rd 6-7:30 PM

Windsor & Eton
The Swan, 9 Mill Lane (SL4 5JG)

Local stories and Drinkable Thames in community pub the Swan in historic Windsor hosted by Will & Rebecca Calvert and the Windsor & Eton brewery.

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Water testing

Oct 4th 9-10AM

Windsor & Eton

Water testing through citizen science near the Windsor Eton bridge and if possible (and desirable) a dip in the Thames with local cold water swimmer Rebecca.


Oct 4th 12AM


Meet for a lunch for all those
who join the walk.
Co-organised by Active 360
and Talking Tree.

Walk, Potluck and Citizen Science

Oct 5th 9 AM at Laleham
11:30 AM at Weybridge

Register here

Download Flyer

Community conversation

Kingston Hive, Oct 5th 6-7:30 PM

Join our community conversation about the value of the compass of a drinkable Thames.

Register here

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Talking Drinkable Thames

Oct 6th

Kew Bridge, W4 3NG

A community conversation with paddlers, swimmers, anglers, rowers, canoers and walkers of the Thames.

Register here

Download Flyer

Film screening (18mins) + panel

Oct 9th 6-8 PM


Partner + venue: School of Design University of the Arts – London

Register here

Download Flyer

Closing Event

Oct 17th, 4-7 PM

Dutch Embassy, London

Gratitude to our partners who help us organising the different events


Li An Phoa

Maarten van der Schaaf

Maarten van der Schaaf

About Drinkable Rivers

Drinkable Rivers is a non-profit organisation that works towards a world with drinkable rivers by raising awareness, mobilising people and giving them the tools to take action for change. That is crucial, as everyone and every action matters to achieve a world with drinkable rivers.

When we will have drinkable rivers again it will be an indicator that we live healthy and in balance. All our actions on the land and in the water will contribute to this. As we are all dependent on fresh water all around the world and we are all part of watersheds, the drinkable river could be a societal compass for the 21st century that can guide us in the direction of health and that can mobilise all of us.



Images from Nicolas Boisclair, Gabriel Tetro, Mike Wong and Ryan Erless. Edited by Alfa Lee.

A movie from Thom Verheul, creative commons 2020 Stichting Drinkable Rivers

Clean rivers campaigner to visit on walk
Henley Standard
Drinkable Rivers
Ashton Keynes & Leigh Newsletter – October 2023

Watershed moments
Resurgence & Ecologist

River Warriors 2023
Lewis Pugh Foundation
Drinkable Rivers founder undertakes ambitious Thames walk
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard
Drinkable Rivers – A worldwide initiative for healthy waterways heads to the Thames
Time & Leisure
Walking the River Thames in support of clean water
British Dental Journal


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